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Wittgenstein and the ritual

“Only describe, don’t explain” Ludwig Wittgenstein Sir James George Frazer’s Golden Bough is an anthropological comparative study of mythologies and religions, in which he examines primitive peoples of Europe relating to mythologies from all over the world. In his text Remarks on Frazer’s Golden Bough, Wittgenstein turns against Frazer’s interpretation …

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Monty Python, the Life of Brian and the Holy Inquisition

Monty Python may have expected some backlash, but they certainly did not expect a Spanish Inquisition when they released Life of Brian (1979). However, that was quite what they were met with when the movie first came out and a large number of priests throughout the Western world who wanted …

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Raif Badawi’s 1000 Lashes: a book for liberty

“Freedom of speech is the air that any thinker breathes; it’s the fuel that ignites the fire of an intellectual’s thoughts.” Raif Badawi The title of his book 1000 Lashes and its subtitle Because I Say What I Think is all you need to know about the case of Raif …

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The origins of Christmas and Santa Claus

Jesus was born roughly between 2 and 7 BC, according to historians, theologians and the Pope himself. The mistaken calculation was made by Dionysius Exiguus (470 – 544 AD), the inventor of the modern calendar and the one responsible for splitting history in two, before and after Jesus’ birth, which …

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A short dictionary of Islam – General notions and terms

This is a short, and mostly random, list of Islamic terms. It is not a comprehensive one; it is merely meant to explain some general notions of Islam, which you might have heard but don’t know what they mean. Islam                                     Submission Mohamed (570-632 AD) The last, and the most important, …

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What’s the problem Islam has with dogs?

Muslims tend to dislike dogs, especially outside the West. In Iran, they “arrest” dogs and move them to “undisclosed locations”, while their owners never receive a response from the police on their whereabouts. Guard dogs and hounds have always been allowed, and for as long as pet dogs were a …

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